If you’re like many dog parents who consider their pets beloved family members, you may want them to accompany you everywhere. However, this isn’t always possible as some places don’t allow pets. That’s why being able to shop in pet-friendly stores may feel like a refreshing treat for both you and your precious pup. You can spend quality time with your pet while getting the items you need.
Even if you are allowed to bring your pet into stores or to the mall, you need to remain a responsible pet parent. This way, your pet can stay safe and you can both have a pleasant experience. To help prepare for the outing, here are some things to consider when shopping with your dog.
Your Dog’s Comfort and Safety
Before leaving your home, make sure your dog has the right accessories to keep them safe and secure. Make sure your pet has a collar and leash. Even a well-trained dog may run away if they become too excited. Having these accessories will also help other people to feel safe around your pet.
If you want your dog to be more comfortable, a harness is a good alternative to a collar because it distributes the leash tension through their upper body as opposed to just on their neck. As an added security measure, make sure your four-legged friend has proper identification attached to their collar with your contact information. This way, you can easily be contacted in case your pooch strays.
Your Dog’s Essential Needs
Going around shops can be tiring even for your precious pup and they can become very thirsty. So, make sure to pack a collapsible doggie bowl and clean water to keep your dog hydrated. If you’ll be away from home for a long period, bring some food in case your dog gets hungry. You can also pack some treats in customizable dog treat bags so you can offer them pet-safe snacks rather than giving them something from your plate. It’s best to attach this bag to your belt or bag strap for easy access.
In addition to dog food, pack some doggie poop bags and wipes so you can quickly clean up after your pet.
The New Environment
While shopping is an enjoyable experience for a lot of people, it can be a stressful activity for some dogs. From your dog’s point of view, a mall or a retail shop is a place full of distractions. They hear unfamiliar noises, see plenty of strangers, and smell different things. Being in a new environment can overstimulate them and make them anxious. They might exhibit aggressive or fearful behavior, which can turn your bonding activity into a stressful one.
If it’s your first time shopping with your dog, slowly introduce them to the activity before taking them for a full day out. You can begin by going to a place they can more easily relate to, like a pet supply store. Your dog may perceive the store as a friendly and familiar place because they are accustomed to the smells of dog treats and pet products. Another option is to visit the mall and do your shopping during less busy hours. This can be done on early weekday mornings or in the evenings before closing time. These places are usually less crowded at these times, so your dog may encounter fewer distractions.
The Shops’ Pet Policies
Although many commercial spaces are now dog-friendly, you still need to check the policies of the shops or malls you’re visiting. Some malls allow pets in select open areas only and prohibit them from being in specific locations or shops. For example, restaurants and food establishments may not allow pets on their premises to preserve the quality of their food and dining experience. Also, the smell of food can cause your dog to be too excited to behave, so it’s best to stay away from those places.
In case you’re visiting a retail establishment for the first time, find out what the rules are before you bring your dog. Otherwise, you might need to visit a store that doesn’t allow pets and have nowhere to put your dog. It’s better to leave your pet at home than left unsupervised in front of the shop.
Your Pet’s Size
While you may want to take advantage of being able to visit pet-friendly stores, It’s important to first consider your dog’s size and personality. If you have a large dog and you need to go to a small shop with narrow hallways, you might encounter some issues. Your dog might accidentally bump against display shelves and break items because of their size. Instead, take them along only if you are visiting more spacious shops.
Shopping with your dog is a fantastic way to spend time with your pet while getting some errands done. But before you visit any store or shopping center, there are some things you need to consider. By keeping these things in mind and preparing for the shopping trip, you can ensure your pet’s safety and comfort. This will also enable you to have a stress-free and pleasant experience with your beloved canine companion.